The first thing you notice about dancer and choreographer Lorin Latarro are her passion and enthusiasm for her subject of storytelling through dance. Currently in town working at The Old Globe as the choreographer for the brand new musical THE HEART OF ROCK & ROLL with the music inspired by the songs Huey Lewis and the News.
In fact, her enthusiasm for dance is so palpable that a complete stranger interrupted our interview to tell us how she felt happier just by walking by Lorin, and hearing her discussing dance with an enthusiastic smile. Having worked on shows as a dancer in MOVIN’ OUT, FOSSE, A CHORUS LINE, and as a choreographer for WAITING FOR GODOT with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stuart, TWELFTH NIGHT at the Public Theatre this summer, and the hit musical WAITRESS, her passion and talent has been honed on the Broadway stage.
If she’s that impactful just talking about dancing, imagine how powerful her dancing or choreography is in a show?
It’s not just the opportunity to choreograph a show, but to work with such an amazing creative team that has really made working on THE HEART OF ROCK & ROLL a special experience for Latarro.
“It’s been really wonderful. Huey’s music has been around and he is so generous and he is so gun ho about the project, and he believes in it whole heartedly. His music is really suited to musical theatre. It’s so theatrical and the writers have been wonderful. Gordon Greenberg as the director has been a fearless leader; it’s been a very creative room. The actors are all wonderful, they’re all great. We’ve really found a beautiful piece.”
With orchestrations by Brian Usifer that range from the traditional songs we remember, to arrangements that have reinvented some songs into ballads, acapella pieces, and more this show has lots of different styles for Latarro to utilize.
“Hughie Lewis, I learned directed all of his music videos on MTV and he was really good at it. Those videos are the quintessential style of our show. They’re cheeky, they tell a story, they don’t take themselves seriously, and at the same time you’re draw to them and you can’t bring yourself to not see how it ends. So I really went back to those videos and pulled out some of the style. It’s really fun.”
As someone who looks for the next creative opportunities and challenges, it is the opportunity to create something new that she really finds interesting.
“We are having a blast and we are successfully doing A HEART OF ROCK AND ROLL, and it has really been an extraordinary experience. I think the show is fantastic and it is hard to create a new musical. We have worked really hard and that’s what musical theatre needs to move forward.
That’s what’s so exciting about creating a new musical, an original new musical and original new book. There is no template or blueprint; we just get to do it our way.”
Lorin Latarro is choreographing the world premier musical comedy THE HEART OF ROCK & ROLL at The Old Globe, playing through October 21st. To see this show, and hear some hits from Huey Lewis and the News like “Hip to Be Square,” “Workin’ for a Livin’,” “If This Is It,” “The Power of Love” and more go to www.theoldglobe.org for ticket and show information.